BJP targets Congress over 1984 riots, says NDA delivered justice to victims

Published on Nov 21, 2018 10:34 PM IST

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday accused the Congress of covering up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots until 1998 “as though the genocide did not happen”.

Arun Jaitley said the justice Rangnath Mishra-led commission, which probed into the 1984 riots, exonerated the then Rajiv Gandhi-led government to the extent that there was no collusion or failure on its part.(PTI)
Arun Jaitley said the justice Rangnath Mishra-led commission, which probed into the 1984 riots, exonerated the then Rajiv Gandhi-led government to the extent that there was no collusion or failure on its part.(PTI)
New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday accused the Congress of covering up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots until 1998 “as though the genocide did not happen”.

He said that it was not until 1998 when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government (NDA) first came to power in 1998 that the cases related to the riots were pursued to deliver justice to the victims.

Jaitley said the Justice Rangnath Mishra-led commission, which probed into the riots, exonerated the then Rajiv Gandhi-led government to the extent that there was no collusion or failure on its part.

“Post his retirement from the Supreme Court, the judge (Mishra) first became the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and subsequently, a Congress Member of the Rajya Sabha. The victims and the community were crying for justice,” Jaitley wrote in an article shared on Facebook.

The article came a day after a Delhi court on Tuesday awarded death penalty to one convict and life imprisonment to another in a 1984 riots case. It was the first verdict since a Special Investigation Team (SIT) reopened the riots cases in 2015.

The court held the offence of Yashpal Singh, one of the two convicts, fell under the “rarest of rare” category warranting the death penalty. The Delhi police had closed the case in 1994 for the want of evidence.

“We owe to the victims that the other cases suggested by the SIT for investigation and prosecution be vigorously pursued. The same is being done. Such convictions in those residual cases will be a small consolation,” Jaitley said in the article.

At a separate press conference, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said whenever a commission was closer to indicting police officers and leaders involved, the government stopped it.

Congress leader Manish Tewari rejected the BJP’s criticism.“The fact is the Congress leaders have regretted the 1984 riot...But from the BJP, one has never heard even a single word on the Gujarat riots.”

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